LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE/Gray News) - Police say a woman was fatally shot in the back of the head Sunday morning by a man who wanted to be more than friends.
Tyyatta Thomas, of Louisville, Ky., was killed by a man who wanted to be in a romantic relationship with her, police and family said. Jose Rodriguez has been charged with the killing. (Source: Family/WAVE/Gray News)
"She liked to dance, she liked to sing,” Tyyatta Thomas’ mother, Lukisha Thomas, said.
Tyyatta, 23, was known for lighting up a room with her presence and voice.
"She was so humble anybody in the world could tell you,” Lukisha Thomas said.
She said she noticed her daughter’s personality change about two months into her friendship with 27-year-old Jose Rodriguez, the man arrested for her murder.
“These all are signs,” Thomas said. “Name calling, the distance, no calls (for) days, weeks at a time.”
Tyyatta started to speak up, sharing with family that she was cutting off all contact with Rodriguez.
"He was talking about how he would beat a woman to death,” Lukisha Thomas said.
In the hours leading up to her death, Tyyatta told people close to her she was terrified of Rodriguez and thought he would physically hurt her. But her mother said that information was never passed along to her.
"(Someone) said, ‘I was going to tell you today,’ and I said, ‘Today is a day too late,'” Lukisha Thomas said.
Police said Rodriguez shot and killed Tyyatta at his apartment on Rowena Road after he persuaded her to come over. He called friends and talked to them about what he did, waiting an hour to call police, investigators said.
He did stay at the scene and was arrested.
"All because he couldn’t have her. That’s all that it boils to -- he couldn’t have her,” Lukisha Thomas said. “Now my baby’s gone because of all the secrets.”
Rodriguez was arraigned on a murder charge Monday morning. He’s being held on a $1 million cash bond.
Lukisha Thomas said her daughter had the kindest soul and helped everyone.
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